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You can find many recreational opportunities along the Nebraska Public Power District canal system in the western part of the state.
On the shores of Lake Maloney, we talked with Brian Hope who is the Land Management Coordinator with NPPD. We talked with him about the lake, which is one of the reservoirs produced by the canal system. “The lake is a regulating reservoir for the North Platte Hydro,” Hope said. “Basically, the water you see here has come fro
m the North Platte river out of Wyoming.”
As you might imagine, Lake Maloney offers a wide variety of ways people can enjoy the outdoors. “Specifically, here at Lake Maloney, there are three areas that the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission leases from us,” Hope said. “They allow all of the amenities they typically would. At the Outlet Park, there’s camping and fishing opportunities, fish cleaning stations, showers, and two boat ramps. They also have a park at The Inlet called Kansas Point. Additionally, we have six day-use areas that are free of charge. With the Game and Parks Commission locations, you need a permit. But these day-use areas are free. Five of those have a boat ramp with access to the lake, and our south beach area offers picnic tables, grills, and gazebos.”
There are a number of housing opportunities at Lake Maloney. “Right now there are about 350 homes and cabins around the lake that are leased from NPPD,” Hope said. “The majority of the homeowners outside the boat clubs live here all year long.” There are some off-lake lots, but currently there is no new development happening. “What’s here is essentially it,” Hope said. “The homes are bought and sold, that’s how you obtain ownership. You are on a lease with NPPD, but you do own all of the improvements on the lot.”
Lake Maloney is part of a larger canal system that covers 60 miles and starts on the east end of Lake Ogallala.
“The canal system itself is open to the public,” Hope said. “There are a few spots that don’t offer public access due to safety reasons. And, NPPD also maintains a canal road that offers public access. The north supply area near the Keystone diversion, is probably one of the premier trout fishing areas in the state of Nebraska.” Hope says another large lake that draws visitors besides Lake Maloney is the Sutherland Reservoir. “It’s about a 3,000 surface-acre lake,” Hope said. “It has two boat ramps, and several camping sites under the Game and Parks lease. All of the water sports you can imagine, you can take part in at Lake Maloney or up at the Sutherland Reservoir.”
N-P-P-D officials tell us Lake Maloney also offers a three-mile walking trail